David Douglas High School serves 122 students in the Refugee and Immigrant Student Empowerment (RISE) Program.
Project Director: Linda Vancil (503)261-8350
RISE is a collaborative effort between IRCO and David Douglas High School. The aim of the program is to engage and empower immigrant and refugee high school students through a culturally responsive after school program. RISE provides both academic and social support to increase participants’ likelihood of social integration, academic success, graduation from high school and the pursuit of college and career opportunities.
RISE operates as a drop-in program that is open to all English Language Development (ELD) students at DDHS. In addition to a team of IRCO staff, the program is run by 20 community volunteers who serve as tutors, group facilitators and mentors. Last year alone, RISE served an average of 30 students a day and over 120 students throughout the year.
While academic support is a large focus of our program, we believe that in order to succeed students need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. As a result, our services include daily homework clubs, as well as conversation clubs (where students engage in community building activities that help them develop their English language skills), parent engagement nights, field trips and an annual Photovoice project. Last year, RISE also launched a student leadership team. This team of students met twice a month to help plan activities and discuss ways in which the program can better serve newcomer students at DDHS.
RISE begins every day with a community building activity. Pictured are RISE students playing a game that helps them speak in front of a group while also finding things they have in common.
The 2016-17 RISE student leadership team met twice a month after school to discuss ways in which the RISE program could better meet the needs of ELD students on campus. They also helped to plan field trips and welcome new students in to the program. Three of our leadership team members also presented at the 21st century conference in May 2017.
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